14.6. Retaliation

The University does not tolerate retaliation. No member of the University community may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.

Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes per se retaliation. Notwithstanding, charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy does not constitute retaliation provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any Party made a materially false statement in bad faith.

The University’s ability to respond to retaliation will depend, in part, on the relationship between the University and the individual who commits the retaliation. Anyone who believes they have been retaliated against as a result of their involvement with an investigation and/or grievance process for an alleged violation of this policy should immediately report the alleged retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator.  An independent investigation may be conducted under the purview of the Title IX Coordinator, and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, up to, and including suspension or expulsion from the University, in the case of a student, and up to and including termination of employment, in the case of an employee.

14.6.1 Witness Tampering

Witness intimidation, which may also be retaliation, is strictly prohibited under this policy and Title IX regulations. Generally, a Party’s communication with a witness or potential Witness must be considered part of a Party’s right to meaningfully participate in furthering the Party’s interests in the case, and not an “interference” with the investigation. However, where a Party’s conduct toward a Witness might constitute “tampering” for instance, by attempting to alter or prevent a Witness’s testimony, such conduct is prohibited.